Beth Potter notched her second WTCS win of the season – and her career – when powering clear late on the run to take the victory in Montreal.
The Scot, who was extending Britain’s perfect start to the WTCS season with a fourth straight success, recovered from a 34-seconds deficit after the swim to work her away into a lead group of three on the run alongside Leonie Periault (FRA) and Summer Rappaport (USA).
That trio had it between them heading into the last 400 metres but it was Potter, who landed the season-opener in Abu Dhabi, who found the decisive kick to win by two seconds from Periault, with a further seven seconds back to Rappaport.
Jeanne Lehair (LUX), who briefly led on the last lap, had to settle for fourth.
And there were some significant big names just behind – Katie Zaferes (USA) boosted her Olympic qualifying hopes with fifth, Taylor Knibb (USA) produced a superb display against the odds for sixth, with Cagliari winner Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) seventh.
Swim – Knibb erases deficit
Just two days before Knibb was an impressive fourth in the US National Time Trial Championship but she collected a 10-second penalty before this event even started after she missed the race briefing as she was flying in from Tennessee.
But she reacted in the best way possible, out of the water in third just fractions behind Vittoria Lopes (BRA) and Lena Meißner (GER).
She had to serve the penalty before the bike leg but a sprint to the transition area meant she was still able to exit in the front group.
Most of the main contenders were in there, but not Potter who had those 34 seconds to make up.
Bike – No surprise as Knibb animates race
The bike leg too was all about Knibb.
She led the 21-strong group at the end of the first of six laps and then produced her customary power-packed burst to surge clear, with Rappaport the only one able to go with her.
They’d opened up a 10-seconds gap at the end of lap two and though it held fairly steady, their advantage was 15 seconds at the bell.
By the time they reached T2 they had 13 seconds to play with on the run, with Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) leading the big chase pack.
Run – Potter times it perfectly
It was Rappaport who was out of T2 first and she quickly put a gap between herself and the rest. At the same time Bragmayer had moved onto the shoulder of Knibb and in behind things were starting to close up.
Lehair was the big mover, so much so that she cut through the field and past Rappaport but her lead didn’t last long and for most of the second and last lap it was Periault, Potter and Rappaport who had it between them, with the Scot in front where it really mattered.
Afterwards she said: “I didn’t have a great swim today but I made sure I stayed really cool and calm – and then worked really hard on the first two laps on the bike.
“I had a bit of a niggle going into Cagliari last time so I think that’s why I was a little bit off there so to come here and do that makes me really happy. It’s given me a confidence boost going into the next one.”
WTCS Montreal 2023 results
Saturday 24 June 2023 – 750m / 20km / 5km
- 1. Beth Potter (GBR) – 58:10
- 2. Leonie Periault (FRA) – 58:12
- 3. Summer Rappaport (USA) – 58:19
- 4. Jeanne Lehair (LUX) – 58:28
- 5. Katie Zaferes (USA) – 58:33
- 6. Taylor Knibb (USA) – 58:36
- 7. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) – 58:45
- 8. Zsanett Bragmayer (HUN) – 58:46
- 9. Taylor Spivey (USA) – 58:51
- 10. Maria Carolina Velasquez Soto (COL) – 58:54
WTCS Standings after Montreal (Race 4)
- 1. Taylor Spivey (USA) – 2401pts
- 2. Summer Rappaport (USA) – 2357pts
- 3. Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) – 2348pts
- 4. Jeanne Lehair (LUX) – 2237pts
- 5. Beth Potter (GBR) – 2177pts